Can Milan finally make a step forward and reach the title after 11 years? We will get a clearer picture this Monday, after the match with Sampdoria in Genoa, in the last match of the 1st round of Serie A. A lot has changed at San Siro.
Gianluigi Donnarumma, Hakan Callhanoglu, and Mario Mandzukic left during the summer, and several adequate replacements arrived. Mike Maignan came from Lille to replace Donnarumma, Brahim Diaz arrived from Real Madrid on loan, just like Roma defender Alessandro Florenzi.
Fikayo Tomori from Chelsea and Sandro Tonali from Brescia were bought, and almost 60,000,000 euros were spent on all of them. However, the most attractive was the transfer of Olivier Giroud. The veteran of the French national team was hired from Chelsea for 1,000,000 euros, and he should bring the Rossoneri the option of more in the attack, which Mandzukic did not do adequately during the previous season.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is injured, so Giroud will almost certainly be the starter against Sampdoria, and we will be able to see his debut in a red and black jersey.
It will be a kind of veteran clash. Sampdoria will attack Milan with one of the longest-serving Serie A players, Fabio Quagliarella.
The 38-year-old goal scorer will be the starter, thus starting his 23rd season in senior football. It was a long time ago that May 14 was the game with Piacenza, when he recorded his first appearance in Serie A in the Torino jersey, playing the last 25 minutes in a 2: 1 triumph.
Since then, he has played exactly 500 matches in the elite rank and scored 177 goals, to which he added 50 assists. The most convincing in the Sampdoria jersey, for which he scored 100 goals in 234 matches and was an assistant 23 times.
Quagliarella won all the trophies while playing for Juventus. He was the three-time champion of Italy with the Old Lady, and he also won two Italian Super Cups. He achieved the greatest personal success in the Sampdoria jersey, in the 2018/19 season he scored 26 goals and was the best scorer in Serie A.
Interestingly, the most common rival of Quagliarella during his career was Milan. He has played against the Rossoneri as many as 30 times so far. He defeated them on eight occasions, he played nine more draws. However, he did not become too famous with goals, he only shook Milan's net three times so far.
The last time he scored a goal was in April this year, when they played 1: 1 at San Siro. It was the fourth consecutive match in which the Genoa team did not defeat Milan, but at the same time, a series of two tied triumphs of the Rossoneri was over.